Revolutionizing Abha: Foster + Partners' Terminal Triumph

Foster + Partners secures the design bid for Abha Airport's new terminal in Saudi Arabia. Inspired by Rijal Almaa village, the innovative
Abha Airport
Abha AirportImage Source: Foster + Partners'


Foster + Partners secures the design bid for Abha Airport's new terminal in Saudi Arabia. Inspired by Rijal Almaa village, the innovative design crafts interconnected clusters and verdant courtyards, reshaping the airport experience. Embracing local aesthetics, this transformative project redefines travel with open spaces, traditional materials, and modular flexibility.



Foster + Partners, renowned for cutting-edge architecture, clinched the prestigious competition to reimagine Abha Airport's terminal in Saudi Arabia's Aseer Region. Drawing inspiration from the adjacent Rijal Almaa village, the winning design revolutionizes conventional airport layouts by weaving together human-scale clusters, al fresco courtyards, and walkways.

Stefan Behling, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, underscores the transformative essence of the design. The terminal orchestrates a journey through inviting spaces and lush green courtyards, seamlessly integrating with the natural environment. Celebrating Aseeri traditions, the design harmonizes local materials and terraced landscapes, offering travelers a glimpse into the region's cultural splendor.

Crafted in modular form, the terminal strategically intersperses clusters between the drop-off zone and the apron. The varying heights and tapered structures echo the region's architectural flair, creating diverse functional zones while ensuring adaptability for future expansions as passenger demand surges.

The design ethos embraces the region's climate, leveraging wind patterns for optimal ventilation while utilizing stone walls and diffused daylight to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.

Nikolai Malsch, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners, elaborates on the terminal's allure. Encircled by retail outlets, restaurants, and cafes, landscaped courtyards provide a serene ambiance for travelers. The fusion of rough stone exteriors and vibrant interiors, mirroring the village's essence, anchors the terminal within its cultural context, forging a distinct gateway to the Aseer Region.


Foster + Partners' visionary design for Abha Airport's terminal heralds an era of architectural innovation, blending local heritage with modern functionality. The design's emphasis on open spaces, traditional materials, and adaptability sets a new standard for airport terminals, promising a transformative travel experience while honoring the rich cultural tapestry of the Aseer Region.

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